Monday, February 14, 2011

Freeze or Fry

Joel in an early crux

Me pulling the same section

Navigating mixed terrain around baked, rotten ice

Joel starts the crux lead


Align Center

Looking Northwest to Lago del Desierto and Chile

Awaiting a lift back to town

These photos are from a late January assault on Aguja Guillamet, where Joel and I climbed a really fun mixed ice, snow, and rock route on the East face of the peak during a good one-day weather window. Temperatures fluctuated drastically, and the snow was quite soft as we crossed the bergschrund and started the route. The first four pitches had stimulating climbing, but were severely sun-affected, making the ice and snow difficult and insecure. I was glad to be following! As we got higher, the line retreated into the shade and refroze, just in time for a magnificent, thin, crux ice runnel!! We cruised easy terrain for another pitch, then hit the summit snow slope and romped to the cumbre, for Joel's fifth Guillamet summit, and my third. We're uncertain whether this terrain has been climbed, but consider it quite likely as part of one route or another. Our goal was having fun, and we found it!